Hoch Leads by Four After ‘Only’ a 66 : Golf: Glasson, Huston tied for second. Gallagher smashes record at Bermuda Dunes with 62.


Scott Hoch was more than a little surprised when he came off the 18th hole at Bermuda Dunes and learned that he had a four-stoke lead going into today’s final round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

He had just birdied the last three holes to cap a round of six-under-par 66 that left him at 24-under 264.

That’s a pretty nice score, but there have been so many sub-65 rounds all week on the four courses in this tournament, he expected somebody to make a big move.


Somebody did. It was Jim Gallagher Jr., who set a course record at Bermuda Dunes with a 10-under-par 62, to break the record of 63 set by Jodie Mudd in 1986. Gallagher, however, had shot a 74 on the previous day and the best he could do was gain a fourth-place tie at 269 with Keith Clearwater (68 at La Quinta), Bruce Lietzke (67 at Indian Wells) and third-round leader Lennie Clements (72 at Bermuda Dunes).

Bill Glasson and John Huston also made moves. Glasson, who says he has been experimenting with his swing this week, shot a 66 at Indian Wells and is tied for second at 268 with Huston, who shot a 68 at La Quinta.

“The scores really did surprise me,” Hoch said. “This was a perfect day for scoring and I was sure there would a lot of low scores.”

After a round that got off to a slow start, Hoch was feeling much better when he saw his name atop the leader board.

“I didn’t really want to know where I stood during the round,” Hoch said. “I just wanted to concentrate on my game and not worry about anybody else.”

That was easy to do at Bermuda Dunes, because all of the fans were at Indians Wells, where the celebrity field was playing.


“I didn’t have much of a gallery all week,” Hoch said. “I left about four tickets for friends, but they were watching other people.”

Everything will change today. Hoch will be playing in front of large crowds at Indian Wells and he will know where he stands because he will be playing in the last group with Huston and Glasson.

This will be the second time Hoch has played in the last round with Glasson this year. He was paired with him at Phoenix, where Glasson closed with a 64 to win.

“He was on another level there,” Hoch said. “I played well, but it was nothing like the way he was playing.”

Glasson apparently doesn’t have the same confidence in his game that Hoch has. In fact, Glasson is so dissatisfied with the way he is striking the ball, he will be experimenting with his swing today, trying to find something that will make it right.

“I know it’s hard to explain being 20 under and complaining about my swing, but if you would have watched me on the first day, you couldn’t have told which ones were the amateurs.”


The only thing that has been saving Glasson is his putter. And that’s unusual, too.

“Putting is usually the weakest part of my game,” Glasson said. “I usually hit some great iron shots and struggle with my putter.”

Glasson said that the problem is his new swing. He doesn’t completely understand it.

“I know what I’m trying to do,” he said, “but when things start to go wrong, I don’t understand the little changes that need to be made.”

Glasson says he has made about 135 swing changes so far this week and will go to 136 and more in the final round.

“I really didn’t expect to be in contention this week,” Glasson said. “I wanted to work on my swing and this is a good tournament to do it in, because you get to play (at least) four rounds. I don’t usually make the cut here, so this will be an interesting last day.”

Like Glasson, Hoch says he’s not completely happy with the way he’s hitting the ball.

“I’m not getting the draw that I’m used to,” Hoch said. “But at least I have a four-stroke lead, which is better than being four behind.”

Hoch says he won’t play safe to protect a lead. But he’s going to be experimenting with his swing to try to make it better.


“What I’ve been doing has worked OK for four rounds. It should work for one more,” he said.


Golf Notes

It took a score of five-under 283 to make the cut. Among those who missed it were defending champion Tom Kite (286), Los Angeles Open champion Corey Pavin (285), Arnold Palmer (286), Phil Mickelson (287), Lanny Wadkins (294) and Ben Crenshaw (307). . . . Steve Pate made it by a stroke, thanks a hole in one on the seventh hole at Bermuda Dunes.

Jim Gallagher says that a change in attitude was the reason he was able to go from a 74 on Friday to a 62 on Saturday. “I had been trying to call Paul (Azinger) for three weeks. I finally got through and he said a few things to me that woke me up. It made a world of difference. I went from being out of it to having a chance. I would probably need a seven or eight under to have a legitimate chance, but you never know on these course.” Gallagher, who had an ace at PGA West earlier in the week, said they gave him the flagstick where he had his hole-in-one. “A car would have been nicer, but I’ll take the stick.”